Eleven months ago, I was in a dark place, and it was frightening. This place was noisy, yet quiet and just like a single crochet; it was very lonely, This dark horrible place was inside my head.
I spent several months stuck at home; trying to figure out what was wrong with me. One Google search after another. Until the day that I stumbled upon a support group for anxiety. I began to wonder if my answers were within this group. After reading several posts, it all seemed so negative. So many problems and so many people like me; struggling with agoraphobia, anxiety, and panic. I felt as though it was just an online journal where everyone would share their horrible stories. I feared that it would make me feel worse about myself.
As I continued to read; I began to realize that my initial opinion was wrong. Yes, it was a place to vent; but it was also a great place for advice. Where you didn’t feel alone. A place for support and understanding. Also, a place for hope. As the days went by; I saw my first glimmer of sunshine. That little ray of hope in my scary dark world. Her name is Jade.
Jade posted beautiful photos of a wonderful afternoon; shared with her boyfriend Philip. They went on a bike ride and also stopped into a pub for a drink. She expressed how grateful she was to be out and enjoying life. Jade was staring fear in the face and overcoming her battles. I so desperately wanted to be like her. She looked so incredibly happy. It seems like yesterday that I could almost feel the sunshine on my face through her photos. I didn’t know Jade then, but the courage and strength I saw in her were inspiring.
As the weeks went by; I eventually became more active in the group, and more friendly with Jade. I started to learn more about her, and her struggles with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Agoraphobia. Our stories were very similar. It was also comforting to finally meet someone; who shares the same symptoms of anxiety as I did.
When you suffer from severe GAD and Agoraphobia; your mind races. You feel as though your brain is on a hamster wheel of negative thinking 24/7. It is horrendous and you want it to stop because it is relentless and seemingly uncontrollable. Suffers will do anything, and try everything to make it stop. How was Jade able to leave the house? How is she so happy?
As our friendship grew she explained to me how learning to crochet helped to keep her mind busy. Instead of spending her days worrying and googling anxiety related symptoms; she puts yarn in her hand. From that first single crochet, her life was changed. The yarn had put a smile in her heart.
Crocheting was Jade’s outlet; and essential lifeline to the outside world. Creating beautiful things with yarn to give to loved ones also gave her a sense of purpose. It made her get out of bed in the morning. Ultimately the single crochet was making her dark days of anxiety seem a little less gloomy. The yarn was making her feel good about herself again. Like Jade, I too was desperately seeking a purpose. I wanted that scary dark place inside my head to be silent and to be at peace and I wanted to enjoy life again.
Being terrified to leave the house is horrible and I do not wish upon my worst enemy. The constant fear and worry had consumed me and was ruining my life. Therefore I was hopeful that learning to crochet with a new friend would be the motivation I needed. Luckily for me; Jade is amazingly talented at her crochet craft, and was happy to share her knowledge with me. Jadelilly.co.uk
To get started with my new hobby I needed to leave the house and buy supplies. Going to a yarn store alone seemed impossible, but thanks to Skype I am never alone. I have been able to take Jade and our other friends with me on my journeys away from home. To be honest, if it was not for these girls I would still be trapped at home, and stuck in my head. With their support, and numerous distractions I was able to get to the store and purchase my first few balls of yarn, and I didn’t panic.
Since those first exposures; I have made countless trips to the yarn store. During most of my first outings; a lot of support was needed from my friends across the pond. I have grown comfortable shopping there, and at many other stores in my small town. Eventually, my emotions went from being terrified of being terrified to terrified that I’m not terrified. I am now happy to report that most of my journeys are on my own. Unless of course, they beg to come along.
Thank you, Jade, for inspiring me, Luan, for being my rock, and Kez for your calming encouragement.